Friday, 18 February 2011

ACID..... in the Dye format.....

Here we go opening another door into the VORTEX

It came to my attention that buying loads of pre dyed topps was ok but not half as good as making products from hand dyed fiber. So....... we got a bucket load of ACID dyes. They don't make yo fly away with the fairies but they do make your fibers take on a whole new level of colour.

We did a test run today on all ready spun yarn. this is the result. (they are still damp so colours may be a bit dull)


Thats the new babies drying out. The two on the right are going to get plyed together. The one on the right is an old test skein which is just going to be made into something yet to spiral out of our brains.
Sorry for the breeze i have had a glass of westons organic whilst dying this fibre. CIDER I UP LANDLORD.

Well tomorow is going to see me dying some of my new DHF Falklands Merino x tops ready for spinning :) That makes PIG's well happy

Still experimenting with the dying technique. I have read a lot about it on the internet but nothing beats hands on experimentation. I'm using Kemtex Acid dyes at the moment they are working well but I do need to get my hands on a nice crock pot to dye in.

Anyways I'm off now to the sleep direction. Catch you all soon


And enjoy the solar flare energy


PIG brains


Thursday, 17 February 2011

We are featured! In The Daily Fiber!

Monday, 14 February 2011

Adventures & Escapades

Hello, it is I, le chat, here to bring you jolly tales of our weekly adventures here at Innerspiral Studios.
This week has been, quite frankly, a bit bonkers. Busy o'clock! We spent most of it getting ready for our market at Christmas Steps on Saturday - it's always great to have a market deadline to keep you on your toes (or paws, or trotters)... We made lots of new stock as well as updating our display, including making a better, more relevant shop sign, created out of felted letters and a handspun yarn spiral.

our new shop sign, complete with involved pixie bag businesscard holder!

We had a proper Bristol outing on Wednesday evening. Stage One - headed to Moon and Magic's brand new workshop at the Kebele in Easton. We' d never been there before and very much wanted to check it out, as well as the workshop sounded pretty tantalising - sustainable crafts, upcycling old things into new pretty ones for a mere 2 quid. Right up our street! We got there to find a group already pretty involved in customising a bunch of old t-shirts. It has to be confessed - that put us right out of our safety zone! Both of us can basically sew but neither of us are sewers per se, rather knitters, crocheters, felters, spinners.... this was the realm of real sewing...

marvellous suitcase of scraps

Well Pig got a red tshirt with Bob Marley on it and I got a random white affair with some blurb screenprinted over the top. There was a suitcase in the centre of the room overflowing with material scraps, great stuff, loads of pattern and colour, different textures, materials... Everyone was sitting around, very chilled, snipping and pinning and sewing away happily. One boy had gone quite extreme and decidede to shear a giant hole out of the centre of his black tshirt, whilst a girl opposite had actually done something rather amazing in turning a long tshirt into a dress by sewing long thin triangular strips into the bottom tutu style, all different polka dots. Wicked!

our t-shirts mid customisation...

I cut out various bits of pattern and rematched them up asymetrically on my tshirt whilst pig got stuck in to making a pirate hat for his bob marley. Whenever we hit a block, luna who was running the workshop, was right there with advice, pins, new needles, ideas, it was great. She also taught me blanket stitch which i've always wanted to do properly, I never quite managed to figure it out before - i know its going to make a big difference to my work. Also Luna's sister was able to offer advice and possible help on my forthcoming customisation of my wedding dress - I'm making it into a corset back so it will fit properly... Just going to a single workshop gave all this and more! Brilliant value for money and so much fun, we'll defo be up for another one - besides, we need to finish our t-shirts now, they're gonna be sickkk!

Luna mid flow

Stage Two involved us dashing over to Tenderfoot afterwards as they were having a Valentines exhibition. We'd never been there before either and wanted to get a feel of the vibe, as well as support the shop, see if it was our sort of thing... er, yeh, of course! How could it not be with madame mackendrick's mad creations on display, not to mention sock pigs, crocheted strawberry bunting, heart shaped plates of heart shaped cakes and sweeties, hand stitched cupcakes, cool art (we liked the picture of Norman) sorry we didn't get any photo's of the art cos it felt a bit rude but here are the sweeties!


Soooo, hopefully with a bit of luck the first BCM meeting will be at this lovely little place, and who knows *whisper* there might even be a felting workshop there too, watch this space....

the lovely Tenderfoot....

So last but not least by any means we were in attendance for the Valentines Market at Christmas Steps in Bristol on Saturday.

It was gert loads of fun, it always is there - the setting is beautiful,. the organisers are lovely, and a good number of friends and acquaintainces either had a stall nearby or were passing through which made it even better. This is the best market we do - it has a real community vibe going on.

pigs bit

Although its not exactly heaving, its quality over quantity, you get a good turn out of dedicated shoppers, really seriously interested punters who love to support your work and take home a bit of true craftsmanship. Also got to chat to so many people who were very much on the same wavelength, very encouraging and supportive. We chatted to fair number of traders about the possibility of another dedicated craft market and the interest was pretty high all round, oooh there's another space to watch.... I'll keep you posted, Spiralites!

We were very pleased with how all our hard work paid off to make our stall look pretty neat. Our best looking ever so far in our farmyard opinion...

hats n ting

We did really well on the day too, which was really encouraging, we've been working so hard its great to have such a reaction from shoppers. All we really want is for our small business to succeed well enough so we can keep doing it - both of us are fibre obsessed and the things that keep coming from our hands get more and more involved... so I guess we're on the right path! Next stop - get workshopping around - we don't want to keep these skills to ourselves, we want to share them!

cats bit... and our pixiehoopsound hulas on the side

 I am also (hopefully!) taking feltmaking to the next level this coming weekend - with a hat felting workshop at the Spinning Weal in Clevedon on Saturday. I'm seriously super excited! I'll be sure to blog it and see what comes of it! Who knows, I could have a funky old hat to show for it! Here's hoping :)

Well Spiralites, its very silly o'clock in the morning so this cat is going to sign off with a paw and a miaow and a prrrrrrrr...

Monday, 7 February 2011

Bread, felt yarn n ting

Hellooooo Woolly PIG here with a squeak and an oink to gossip some good vibes to you.

Today i made my first ever sour dough bread :)

It has been a long process making this bread as its not made using quick yeast, i had to feed my starter and leave the dough to rise for about 6 hrs knocking it back each hour but i got there in the end. It turned out a bit flat :( but hey im still learning this skill. The good news is that when Babylon comes crashing down and there are no more plastic bags and no more supermarkets I will be sitting there in an overgrown wheat field eating my sour dough and loving it even if it is a bit flat. obviously i would need to find the ingredients and power for an oven (cat says no duh build a clay oven, outside, yeh! :) but hey at least i will be able to make the bread once i find the rest.... well enough of my fantasy world how about a taste of innerspiral over the last few days.

Its been well yarn and felt tastic. We have been making loads of pre felt. Za used all her old prefelt mking loads of flowers for the next market ( Christmas steps artisan market on the 12th of feb! facebook it so it was about time to make some more. At the same time i made some prefelt to make inlays for a secret project (dads late birthday pressi) this will be felted into a background layer to make a nice sign for their yacht.

On the left are my new mini
creations..... Mini crocheted hanging mushrooms :) im making lots out of different types of handspun yarn. They are magical........ but not in that way before you get your hopes up.

Also i have been spinning up a few new yarns. the one pictures on the right here is a self striping aran weight single made using black falkland as a base and then using different colours of merino to create the stipes. it goes from purple to deep blue to teal to light blue and all the way back to purple again. The colours always fade between each other before becoming the new colour. its about 180 grams on the bobin and fairly long. I am quite pleased with it :)

Today i have been baking and continuing spinning my black shetland and silk topps that i bought from the spinning weal in clevedon. The first bobbin is now finished and i am going to spin the rest ready for the market on saturday so someone can purchase all 200grams if they so desire.

Black shetland and silk (left) Black Falkland and white merino (right)
Also i am spinning a combo of black falkland and white merino single to make a few more cowl's out of. this is a great combo as they are next to face soft fibers and totally natural colours. I like making nice natural combos where possible.

Cat brains is also making mixed media cards ready for the market. They are an alternative to sloppy valentines day cards. made using handmade felt cut outs and stamps on card.

Also she is getting well involved in various paisley patterns and is currently drawing paisley pattern hippy pattern

Thats all for now me gurt lush lovers! if you wana listen to some sick mix check out this link to the Darkitect on soundcloud

This mix keeps us crafting until the early hours appropriately titled AntiSleepDevice..... Good stuff mate keep them mixes coming (cat says, whoop!¬)

Peace and love with Trinergy on top!!!!! Woolly Pig signing out


Friday, 4 February 2011

New Studio, New life...... Year of the Fluffy Rabbit

Hello out there all spiralites....... we are beaming out these messages from our new studio, we have only just finished moving it to Nailsea, its well chilled out!

We have just managed to start creating things again and are loving the crafts like never before!

Cat face has made some new prefelt with Sari Silk added and felted into the merino base. She is now making many flowers to put on things, like fasinators, brooches, hair clips, dreads etc. so expect some new exciting flower action on Etsy soon....

Pig brains (Me, by nature not size i am told) have been spinning up loads of black welsh and grey jacobs tops, into a double ply chunky yarn. I then created a new style of bag (new style for me anyway) using Crochet. 

Here are a few new pics. I have been playing around with photo techniques. Using light and a white background i am taking pics inside working towards a standard style for our etsy pictures. We have a new full spectrum bulb on the way. We are going to set up a mini photo area in the studio, put some reflectors up and hope for the best. Then play with camera setting....   THE joy :)

This is the Cats new felt neck piece!

A nice felt flower being created, check out the sari silk patterns yum!

Photos of the unicorn yarn listed on our etsy site

More pics of unicorn yarn using new photo style!

Anyway its getting late now so im gonna call it a night, just wanted to post a quick blog :) hope the year of the rabbit its going well for all of you out there. Its brought about some interesting changes for us here at innerspiral but all seems to be going well. Can the magic rabbit bring me drum carders, merino fleece and acid dyes please. Thanks x

Trinergy YER

Etsybloggers, Feel The Cold...? Not When Hooping at Sacred Stones!

So this Christmas Day just gone, we decided to take a break from normal Christmas routines... and decided to visit the nearest stone circle to Bristol, Stanton Drew. Having done a series of Christmas Markets in snow, minus degrees and general blizzard conditions, we were prepared... the snow lay about a foot thick, and we crunched over it in the field, made so silent from the freeze - a family all dressed in red vanished quickly, leaving us alone with each other and a herd of cows.

White and pristine snow lay all around and stretched out as far as the eye could see. It was just the four of us - me, Pig, Tess and Chris, Pigs rents. We walked across the fields, visiting each circle in turn, saving the biggest for last. Pig and I took our hoops of course, and for some reason Pig also decided to take his bongo. Yes, we looked completely mad, like some strange mini travelling circus... It was brilliant! And anyway all totally worth it to have hoop in the snow amongst the stones, whilst Pig bongoed at me...

There's something magical about stone circles. We're having our handfasting on one this year, amongst a valley of rocks in a beautiful campsite... but hey, that's another blog! To me, its amazing that the three biggest circles in Britain are practically next door to us here in Bristol, which is such a magical, vibrant, amazingly alive place- Avebury, Stonehenge and Stanton Drew is the third largest stone circle in the UK - and it's practically next door. Barely anyone knows about it, or so it seems... click on the link below to check out some history and information about them and see more pictures too if you're interested....

We have a thing about stone circles. Ever since visiting Stonehenge at Winter Solstice several years ago and falling in love with the stones and the patterns so deeply etched on them, the lichen growing in whorls and curls, feeling the energy coming from within them with my bare hands, I've been obsessed. So this was a perfect Christmas Day outing for us, especially as we're not at all religious or overfond of mass consumerism on the high street in its favour. We do spiritual, crystals, energy and handmade, yeah! 

The walk was a total success, snow included! As you can see, Pig and I were snuggled up lush in our big woolly coats, all hoods and hats and gloves... it was quite difficult trying to hoop in lots of layers!! Tess and Chris have decided that a walk is just the thing to do on Christmas Day now - they have extravagant plans to climb a truly massive hill nearby (we'll be in Greece - I think that's a bit of a relief, cats don't like climbing hills as much as walking round stones...)

The stones are beautiful and magnificent and ancient - well worth a visit. I have to say though that our visit there was truly magical. Silent and empty with a thick, soft blanket of the best snowfall I've ever seen at Christmas - not something easily repeated!

We finished off with a cider down the local pub - and then home for champagne and dinner and presents! The best Christmas Day I've had in a long time, and it was the cold that made it!
the family and the stones